Taiwan sees rise in people returning to hospitals for medical visits

10/23/2020 10:21 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) Taiwan saw a rise in medical visits in August compared to the same period last year as more people are no longer afraid to go to hospitals, seeing that the country is beating the COVID-19 pandemic, according to observers Friday.

Compared to a sharp drop in the number of medical visits from January to June, people have returned to hospitals as the volume of medical services provided by major medical institutions in August has returned to the pre-COVID-19 numbers, said Chou Shu-wan (周淑婉), National Health Insurance Committee executive secretary.

The number of medical services provided for that month even increased by 2.53 percent over the same period last year, Chou said.

Taiwan has been praised by the international community for its successful efforts at preventing the spread of COVID-19. A domestic case of the coronavirus has not been reported in the country since April 12.

During the pandemic, many people have avoided visiting hospitals for fear of coronavirus cluster infections.

However, concerns regarding whether there will be a rise in the out-of-pocket premiums of the country's National Health Insurance will not be discussed until Nov. 20, Chou said.

The issue was raised after it was calculated that health insurance revenue will face a shortfall of NT$67.6 billion (US$23.6 billion) by the end of the year, with the safety reserve at only 1.88 months, according to National Health Insurance Agency statistics.

By the end of next year, the shortfall may rise to NT$77.1 billion, and the safety reserve will be officially lower than the statutory one-month level.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and William Yen)

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